Detroit business students deliver elevator pitches inside actual RenCen elevator

DETROIT – Students from the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University took part in a voluntary outside-the-classroom project with stakes higher than any letter grade. 

They had to deliver their personal story and sell their skills -- verbally -- as part of an elevator pitch. They did this literally inside an elevator while climbing or descending 70 floors at the Renaissance Center in Downtown Detroit. They had just 80 seconds to give their speech. 

The students took three trips with judges from General Motors, Ford, Blue Cross and Quicken Loans. 

Recent studies have shown communication skills are the No. 1 missing ingredient in today's graduates. Soft skills are more highly prized than technical ability. 

Here are some of the elevator pitches from students Mainul Islam Sabuj, Mellanie Spidell, Kaila Hooks and Luis Fanego: 

Watch: Mainul Islam Sabuj's pitch

Watch: Mellanie Spidell's pitch

Watch: Kaila Hooks' pitch

Watch: Luis Fanego's pitch